10 Practical Tips for a Fun Father’s Day Backyard BBQ

Father’s Day falls right around the official start of summer. No wonder backyard BBQs are so popular for this occasion! So we’re thinking, why not turn the tables on Dad for a change and let him sit back and enjoy a backyard BBQ cookout—while the rest of the family does “grill duty”! How to keep this outdoor bash fun-filled and stress-free? By following some cool (or should we say hot?) party planning pointers!

The Backyard BBQ ‘To Do’ List

Before we start our list of DO’s, here’s one DON’T:

  • Don’t have Dad in on the planning. Let this truly be ‘his day’ to be honored and pampered. If you can keep the whole thing a secret from him, even better!

Okay, now for the planning pointers:

#1 Choose a fun theme. A backyard BBQ is…well, a backyard BBQ. Unless you give it a different spin for a change. These pics are from our Caribbean-themed set, so think of something equally summery: Dad’s fave sport? Wild West? Hawaiian? Mexican fiesta? Pool party?

BBQ Chicken with Grilled Corn and Side Vegetables | The Party Suite at Bellenza

#2 Have family members prepare themed greetings for Dad. Before Father’s Day itself, print out blank cards or DIY ‘art prints’ designed around the theme. Give these out to family members to write their personal greetings on. Then plan on turning these into part of the party decor (see Pointer #6).

#3 Plan a themed menu to match. Whatever motif you decide on, be sure that your BBQ menu will include grilled dishes, appetizers, desserts, and drinks to go with it. Grilled steaks, corn on the cob, and baked beans for Western, ham-and-pineapple skewers for Hawaiian, tacos and burritos for Mexican…you get the idea! [For Caribbean party menu ideas, visit our posts here and here.]

#4 Go beyond beer for the beverages. Start thinking outside of the usual beer to go with your BBQ spread. Again, use your theme and its matching menu to help you make new choices. Cider perhaps? A hearty punch or sangria? Cocktails with tequila or rum?

Father's Day BBQ Cocktails, Sangria, and Punch | The Party Suite at Bellenza

You could even consider a fancy wine or two! To quote Wine Folly: “Barbecuing chicken bumps the smoky flavors up which makes it possible to pair with richer red wines like Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc or even BBQ’s best friend, Malbec.”

#5 Do the grocery and craft store shopping as a family. This is for ‘dear old Dad’! So make this an exciting team effort from the start. Draw up an ingredients list together and hit the grocery, meat shop, farmers’ market, and wine/beverage store family-style. The same goes for mapping out the decorating materials needed, and going to craft supply stores to buy them as a team.

Father's Day BBQ Nuts and Tropical Fruits | The Party Suite at Bellenza

#6 Assign the decor making and setup. Dads tend not to be into the whole party decor thing…especially not for themselves! So your decorations can be real simple, and easily farmed out to kids, teens, and adults in the family. By simple we mean: color-coordinated table cloths, napkins (paper anyway), plates and glasses; plus a few props to suggest the theme.

And remember those greeting cards for Dad to be used as decorations (in Pointer #2)? You can just string them together as party bunting, display them in colorful frames, or mount them on sticks to create a DIY centerpiece. That’s it!

#7 Plan on everyone being in themed attire. Rummage through your home closets for shirts, hats, and accessories that you can re-purpose into ‘costumes’ for the occasion. Prepare something for Dad to don at the party, too!

#8 Assign ‘kitchen prep’ tasks leading up to Father’s Day, and ‘grill duty’ for the party itself. Let the little ones in on the fun, too—pre-making certain menu items days ahead, chopping and prepping ingredients, putting some on skewers, etc. Then for actual grilling, sign up Mom and the older kids to do the honors, while the ‘tweens’ can be assigned to serve Dad.

#9 Keep Dad busy during party setup time. Of course, he’ll know something’s brewing for Father’s Day, but keep the theme a surprise at least. Send him off on errands or lock him up in the den to watch a game on TV. Then, quickly set up the tables, the food and drinks stations, and the decorations.

#10 Welcome the guest of honor, and fire up the grill! Once everything is set, lead Dad out to the backyard, get him comfy in a ‘seat of honor’ with some appetizers and a drink, get the grill going, and enjoy!

Father's Day BBQ Grill with Chicken and Vegetables | The Party Suite at Bellenza

More Menu Planning Ideas for a Fab Father’s Day Backyard BBQ!

Ready for more inspiration! Check out these fab food and drink finds that Dad will surely love:

Father's Day BBQ Menu Ideas From Burgers to Ice Cream Floats | The Party Suite at Bellenza

Image Credits:

1 – BBQ Split Prawns, from Pop Sugar
2 – French Fry Bourbon Burgers, from Half Baked Harvest
3 – BBQ Spiced Salmon with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa, from How Sweet It Is
4 – Boozy Guinness Ice Cream Floats, from Williams Sonoma
5 – Whiskey Rock-a-Roller, from Saveur
6 – Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake, from Taste of Home
7 – Grilled Lamb Skewers with Apricots, from Wiine.me


  1. Great tips to make a Father’s Day BBQ fun and memorable. Although keeping him busy would be the most difficult for me.

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